Recent updates for universal systems, which can monitor and control all the product equipment in a factory, have centered on building connections across the enterprise and recording data to improve process and product quality.
Eurotherm by Schneider Electric will be releasing the EPC3000, a single-loop controller, by the end of the second quarter, product manager Ben Freckmann said. It is designed for temperature applications in extrusion processes. The measurement hardware is accurate within 0.1 percent.
Freckmann said the controller’s accuracy allows it to meet high quality standards.
The new controller also has enhanced cybersecurity, with an embedded Ethernet chip that defends against hacking and brute force attacks, he said.
“As things become more connected, cybersecurity becomes a major concern. These are things you have to protect against,” Freckmann said. “It’s going to be one of the most secure devices out there.”
The EPC3000 also improves on communication through its Ethernet connection, he said. Previous controllers came with Modbus RTU serial communication via a two- or four-wire serial connection, and while the EPC3000 still includes this as standard, providing an Ethernet connection gives it greater connectivity to other devices. Having two options for communication also allows it to be used with existing products and controls, such as the 3208 and P304i.
“It’s a scalable product that you can use in conjunction with other controls and other recording devices because of the connectivity feature,” he said.
Eurotherm also has updated its nanodac recorder/controller to automatically recognize and communicate with its P304c and P304i melt pressure indicators, simplifying data collection, he said. The update also applies to the 3200 series.
“As more and more people want to start recording their process in plastics, they want to start connecting their existing devices like the P304c or the P304i to recording devices, whether that’s a [data-logging] Wonderware historian server or the nanodac,” Freckmann said. “It eliminates configuration time. There are default menus set up now.”